This is a sponsored guest post from the Polish Tourism Organisation (PTO)
At this year’s WTM Virtual, the Polish Tourism Organisation will encourage trade, media, and strategic partners to discover the unique offerings that will continue to build Poland’s growing reputation as a go-to European travel destination for 2021.
From the buzzing capital city of Warsaw, to the winding waterways of ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes’, Poland is a European destination with a rich variety of unique experiences. Discover stunning natural scenery, a unique culinary culture and historic sites that tell the story of how modern Poland was shaped. Although travel will look a little different in 2021, the experiences and adventures will remain the same.
A new moment for Polish tourism
For 2021 the Polish Tourism Organisation is preparing what promises to be continued guidance to help our global, external partners to successfully operate and our visitors to manage their bookings with ease. In 2021 the Polish Tourism Organisation will continue to focus on their accessible, diverse city breaks offering whilst factoring in a more shielded visiting experience to help protect the health of locals and tourists alike.
Explore with a fresh perspective: Uncover the secrets of Poland’s cities
Polish cities are more than just a city centre. Many different cultures have helped shape these cities over hundreds of years and new tours will be organised in 2021 to help spread visitors across the country. Escape the monotony of the everyday next year with a break in one of Poland’s colourful cities, from the vibrant Warsaw to the historic Krakow. Make the most of the quieter post-COVID period, which will create a more intimate experience for travellers exploring every inch of our cities. Whether you want world-renowned museums, UNESCO-protected architecture, Michelin star cuisine or tranquil green spaces and parks, Poland’s cities have it all.
Wander through green Warsaw
Home to over 20,000 hectares of green space and 90 parks, Warsaw is one of the world’s greenest cities. Gearing itself towards a green future, visitors can unwind beside the majestic Palace on the Island in the Royal Lazienki Park, Warsaw’s biggest. Watch the sunset over the city from one of the urban beaches that line the Vistula River or grab a plant-based bite from the many vegan restaurants and market stalls in the city’s southern district.
Stroll through pretty Poznan
Why not spend your holiday strolling the streets of West Poland’s most charming city, Poznan. Bursting with colour throughout the year, discover the rainbow of Renaissance-style buildings which line the Old Market Square. Home to a museum dedicated to a 500-year old Croissant, one of the country’s oldest Cathedrals and mechanical head-butting goats, you’re sure to find something for everyone. Also home to the castle where the Enigma code was cracked, be sure to check out The Enigma Museum for a live history lesson on how Poland helped defeat Nazi Germany, in addition to a host of fully interactive encryption and mathematics exhibitions.
Head to the heart of Gdansk
Set on the picturesque fringes of the Baltic coastline, the maritime city of Gdansk is considered one of the most historical and cultural cities in the country. Dive into some of Poland’s finest museums, such as the National Museum and the Museum of the Second World War or soak up the architectural sights down Dlugi Targ, aka the ‘Long Market’ which is home to the impressive Neptune’s Fountain and Town Hall. In the evenings, sample the flavours of the sea with freshly-caught seafood dishes at one of the marina-side restaurants. Just a short drive from the city you will also find the glorious golden beaches of Sopot, which was listed as one of European Best Destinations safest beaches.
Chase gnomes along the waterways of Wroclaw
Sometimes called the ‘Venice of Poland’, Wroclaw consists of 12 islands separated by interweaving rivers and hundreds of connecting bridges. Having been recognised as 2016 European Capital of Culture, Wroclaw offers a wonderful contrast of cobbled streets lined with pretty pastel-coloured buildings and beautiful botanical gardens. One of this city’s unique quirks is its collection of hundreds of gnomes. Originally an anti-communist statement, they have now become a symbol of Wroclaw’s creativity and togetherness.
A healthier year ahead with adventure tourism in Poland
As well as it’s incredibly diverse city break offering, Poland boasts a wealth of picturesque, varying landscapes and unique wildlife (including Europe’s largest land mammal, the European Bison) to make the country one of Europe’s most intriguing outdoor adventure prospects. Adventure travel, which by its very nature, has all the makings of a post-pandemic antidote, with its focus on small group outings, less tourist destinations, and wide-open spaces.
Respiratory Healing with a Cultural Experience
Travel down into Poland’s oldest salt mines at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Wieliczka and Bochnia Salt Mines. The ‘Cities of Salt’ are located only 30 minutes apart and boast incredible cultural attractions including underground chapels, a railway line and a ferry crossing on a narrow salt lake. Take a tour through the mine’s labyrinthine tunnels and learn the rich history that dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can even stay overnight in the unique microclimate 135m underground to truly appreciate the salt’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities which improve immunity and promote healthy sleep.
The land of a thousand lakes
Head to Poland’s ‘land of a thousand lakes’ this autumn, a haven for birdwatchers, leaf-peepers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Located in the country’s Warmia-Masuria Province, the district transforms each year as the luscious greenery that borders the 2,000 lakes turns a dreamy shade of golden brown. Get close to nature with kayaking and pedalboat expeditions through the weaving waterways or, alternatively, hop on your bike and ride the Green Velo Cycling Trail. Stretching over 2000km through the auburn woodlands, cycle past panoramic views of the enchanting lakes.
Scenic cycling experiences
Poland has developed cycling lanes throughout cities, built forest and river banks’ trails and challenging mountain trails aimed at attracting thousands of tourists every year. The recent investments in biking infrastructure have made Poland a perfect European destination for road or mountain biking. Iconic rides include routes such as the ‘Iron Curtain Trail’, with the Polish part of the route taking cyclists along the coast of Baltic Sea and two stunning regions: Pomorskie and Zachodnio-Pomorskie.
Following the Golden Pins
Sixteen destinations in Poland have been awarded Google Maps’ coveted Golden Pin award. The awards are handed out to those locations which, based on the opinions of Google Maps’ users, are rated as being exceptional tourist attractions. Highlights include Malbork Castle, considered to be the largest castle in the world, Africarium, the world’s only oceanarium devoted to one continent, Rose Passage, a mind-bending side street lined with millions of tiny mirrors and Lazienki Royal Park in Warsaw, home to the stunning Palace on the Island. Can you complete the entire set?
Ready to go?
Poland will continue to be a destination with much on offer in 2021. From national parks allowing visitors to spread out, to cities that are not overcrowded. The country will be one of the more safe destinations to visit. With guidelines in place to ensure the safety of city-goers, in addition to expansive countryside and rural offerings, Poland is a country that will make a perfect place to holiday in 2021. So what are you waiting for? Plan your Polish adventure today.
Want to schedule a meeting with the Polish Tourism Organisation or one of their partners at this year’s WTM Virtual? Head to the virtual booth now.